Being a weight neutral provider means I don’t “prescribe” weight loss, or focus on losing a certain number of pounds. The reason for this is backed by both research and what I’ve observed working with humans for over 10 years—focusing on weight manipulation simply doesn’t work in the long run (and can actually cause the body to gain more weight over time). It often gets in the way of taking care of ourselves.
Rather, weight is treated as an outcome—not a “behavior” to control—and we let the body decide where it needs to be for you to function at your best. The approach of NOT focusing on weight, but rather tuning into the body’s wisdom while focusing on health enhancing behaviors, often leads to better health outcomes and settling into a healthier weight for your own body.
Before you write off this post as not applying to you because you want to lose weight, don’t stop reading. This does not mean that we should hide or deny our desires to lose weight, or look a certain way. In fact, most people that come to me want to lose weight. It means bringing these desires to Christ, digging deep, and maybe seeing these desires in a new light. It means recognizing the influence our culture may have on us, and seeing how these influences may be getting in the way of true, Christ-giving freedom. It means figuring out WHY we want to lose weight, and what we feel we will gain once we reach a certain number of pounds lost, and working towards those goals right NOW, not waiting to reach a certain goal weight.
If you want to lose weight because you were told you are “unhealthy” at the weight you are at now, this also applies to you. Much of what we hear today is based on assumptions. We simply cannot look at someone’s size and assume they are “unhealthy” at X weight and “healthy” at X weight. There are plenty of people who are metabolically healthy in larger bodies, and there are people who are metabolically unhealthy in smaller bodies. When assumptions are made because of body size, many people in larger bodies may be called “unhealthy” who are healthy (creating shame), and many in smaller bodies may be overlooked for risk factors simply because their bodies fit the cultural norm. Those in weight suppressed bodies may also be engaging in harmful, disordered eating practices to maintain weight loss while being praised by others around them because of their size, perpetuating the harmful behaviors to be accepted by others. We cannot assume thin equals health.
Being a weight neutral provider means I won’t make these assumptions about you. I will help you pursue health no matter what size you are, and I will never, ever shame you because of your weight. I will listen to any concerns you may have about your body, and help you take care of yourself in the best way you can, right now—NOT after a certain body size is reached. I will listen to your body concerns and help you find that balance between working towards what you can change while accepting those things we cannot. This is where we find true freedom.
The abundant life God gives means living free. Are body concerns and food restrictions getting in the way of your freedom? Know there is hope in Him. He never meant for us to live hating our bodies, never feeling “good enough.” The endless pursuit of weight loss is a dead end—we will never be satisfied, and this keeps us from living free. Invite God into this area of your life, and ask Him what is keeping you from living free.
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